In a supposed show of unity by the world powers against Islamic State – the United Nations Security Council is reportedly preparing to adopt a legally binding resolution intended to choke the terrorist group’s ability to trade in oil, antiquities and hostages. As it pontificates on the terms of the Resolution – the Security Council completely ignores the Report of another United Nations organ – The Committee on the Rights of the Child–- released on 4 February – which depressingly confirms the following litany of suffering visited on children, women and minorities in Iraq by Islamic State:
1. The systematic killing of children belonging to religious and ethnic minorities including several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive;
2. The very large number of children killed and severely injured as a result of the current fighting - including by air strikes, shelling and military operations by the Iraqi Security Forces
3. Deaths from dehydration, starvation and heat in conflict affected areas
4. The high number of children abducted by Islamic State – many of whom are severely traumatized from witnessing the murder of their parents and are subjected to physical and sexual assault.
5. “Markets” set up by Islamic State selling abducted children and women attaching price tags to them
6. Sexual enslavement of children – particularly from minority groups – detained in makeshift Islamic State prisons - such as the former Badoush prison outside Mosul.
7. The executions of teachers and health personnel
8. Recruitment and use of children especially children in vulnerable situations such as refugee children, children with disabilities, children who have lost their parents and children in street situations being used as:
(i) Suicide bombers
(ii) Human shields in order to protect Islamic State facilities from airstrikes and being frequently forced to witness brutal acts of torture and killing
(iii) Informants - for manning checkpoints or as bomb makers for armed groups -in order to support their families
(iv) Some recruited children being trained in kidnapping
(v) Children as young as 12 or 13 undergoing military training organized in Mosul by Islamic State which is reportedly also giving children the responsibility to guard and arrest individuals
9. Children and families belonging to minority groups, in particular Turkmen, Shabak, Christians, Yezidi, Sabean-Mandaean, Kaka’e, Faili Kurds, Arab Shi’a, Assyrian, Baha’i, Alawites - who are being systematically killed, tortured, raped, forced to convert to Islam, cut off from humanitarian assistance by Islamic State in a reported attempt to suppress, permanently cleanse or expel, or in some instances, destroy these minority communities.The Committee could only urge Iraq to take all necessary measures to rescue children under the control of Islamic State and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Islamic State fighters must be laughing their heads off at the thought.
Regrettably the Committee did not see fit to damn the Security Council for its continuing failure to authorise and institute military action by the world body against Islamic State under Chapter V11 of the United Nations Charter.
Instead we now have the prospect of yet another proposed totally ineffectual Security Council resolution talking about oil, antiques and hostages – the third in a series of resolutions on Islamic State that are worthless in ending the barbaric atrocities listed above.
Russia’s veto remains the obstacle to passing a Security Council Resolution authorising the use of military force.
Russia was eventually persuaded to join America in sponsoring a Security Council Resolution
calling for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.
A similar diplomatic effort is needed to destroy Islamic State.
There are many diplomatic inducements and trade-offs that can be explored including:
(i) Easing current sanctions on Russia
(ii) Restoring Russia’s credit rating
(iii) Compromising on Syria and UkraineThe human suffering caused by Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria must be stopped in its tracks without further delay.
Meantime the Committee on the Rights of the Child has invited Iraq to submit its next Report by 14 July 2020 which should be:
“in compliance with the Committee’s harmonized treaty-specific reporting guidelines adopted on 1 October 2010 (CRC/C/58/Rev.2 and Corr. 1) and should not exceed 21,200 words (see General Assembly resolution 68/268, para. 16). In the event that a report exceeding the established word limit is submitted, the State party [Iraq] will be asked to shorten the report in accordance with the above-mentioned resolution. If the State party is not in a position to review and resubmit the report, translation of the report for the purposes of consideration by the treaty body cannot be guaranteed.”
“to submit an updated core document in accordance with the requirements of the common core document in the harmonized guidelines on reporting, approved at the fifth Inter-Committee Meeting of the human rights treaty bodies in June 2006 (HRI/GEN/2/Rev.6, chap. I). The word limit for the common core document is 42,400 words, as established by the General Assembly in its resolution 68/268 (para. 16).”Will Iraq still exist in 2020?
The United Nations and its diverse organs have become the world’s laughing stock as they engage in verbal gobbledygook, pathetic platitudes and mutual back-slapping – whilst doing nothing of substance to end the suffering of millions of human beings around the world.
What has to happen before the United Nations Security Council comes to its senses and gets really serious about degrading and destroying Islamic State?